Category Archives: Colorado Awesomeness

Why I live in Colorado

Image: Color-coded map of the US, with the following legend:

Western half of WA & OR:  “Rain”

Eastern WA & OR, MT, ND, SD, NE, IA,WI, AK: “Cold; lots of conservatives”

MN: “Just really fucking cold, trust me”

MI, IL, IN, OH, WV, PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME, HI: “Muggy; insects”

West coast of CA:  “Expensive”

Eastern part of CA, NV and AZ: “Conservatives; chance of tarantulas”

UT: “Pretty; still too many conservatives”

KS, OK, TX, MO, AR, LA, KY, TN, MS, AL, GA, VA, NC, SC, FL: “Hot; muggy; insects; conservatives”

NM: “One other place I’d consider living”

CO: “Colorado!”  (Indicated by the CO state flag: red letter C, enclosing a yellow circle, with three blue and white stripes.)

These cute puppies want you to vote on Tuesday!

Image: close up of fluffy golden retriever puppy looking into the camera.This cute puppy says: Get out and vote on Tuesday! Vote for Saira Rao! Vote for Cary Kennedy! We can have better Democrats, starting this fall, and continuing the blue wave in 2020. But it starts this Tuesday, June 26, here in Colorado, when we have the privilege of voting for some pretty amazing progressives:

These women are our future.

Remember all those times you held your nose and voted Dem because wtf they’re better than Image: another cute golden retriever.the alternative and, you know, The Court! The Court! I feel like I’ve voted for a lot of centrist mediocrity on those grounds. Bill Clinton. Al Gore. John Fucking Edwards fer pete’s sake. And Hillary Clinton, too. And here in CD1 in Colorado, I would dutifully check the box for Diana DeGette every two years because, well, why not? A reliable D vote and no viable alternative, but also no discernible fucks given about the communities I give a fuck about.

And I spent a lot of time trying to talk my more progressive friends out of doing dumb things like voting for Ralph Nader* or Jill Stein. Those things remain dumb, and I remain right, but I also felt that they had a point; that we had a lot of entrenched, white, privileged, mediocrity** carrying the D flag year in year out. At worst, this silences and alienates voters of color, voters with disabilities, and other marginalized voters; even at best, it bores the crap out of everyone, until our eyes glaze over and we . . . just . . . don’t . . . vote.

{Image: A golden retriever with a goatee of snow around his mouth.}No más! Throughout Colorado and the nation we are getting the opportunity to elect better, more progressive, more enthusiastic Dems. Dems unafraid to call bullshit. Dems willing to call out racism, sexism, cronyism, and mediocrity. And then do something about it. Here are just some highlights:


But none of this happens — our bright future of a more progressive, more grassroots, more activist Democratic Party doesn’t happen — UNLESS YOU VOTE!

This is our future!  Let’s all get out and

Image: Golden retriever puppy sticking her tongue out at the camera.


*Love you, Robin. Miss you, Laura.

** Into which category Nader and Stein emphatically and ironically fall.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame announces the Inductee Class of 2016: Laura Hershey

Our dear — sadly late — friend Laura Hershey is being inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Laura Ann Hershey – Internationally recognized writer, activist and advocate for the disabled community who challenged and changed the public’s perception of disability – Littleton, CO. Consultant to Denver metro cities and entities assisting with ADA implementation. President’s Award recipient in 1988 for her efforts nationally, including pressuring the Social Security Administration to allow disabled people to work, and lobbying to increase visibility of LGBT people with disabilities, to improve Medicaid services and to promote the rights of home care workers.

This fills my heart with joy at the choice, and sadness that she left us way too soon, both because I loved hanging out with her and because she wrote things like this:


What you risk telling your story:

You will bore them.
Your voice will break, your ink
spill and stain your coat.
No one will understand, their eyes
become fences.
You will park yourself forever
on the outside, your differentness once
and for all revealed, dangerous.
The names you give to yourself
will become epithets.

Your happiness will be called
bravery, denial.
Your sadness will justify their pity.
Your fear will magnify their fears.
Everything you say will prove something about
their god, or their economic system.
Your feelings, that change day
to day, kaleidoscopic,
will freeze in place,
brand you forever,
justify anything they decide to do
with you.

Those with power can afford
to tell their story
or not.

Those without power
risk everything to tell their story
and must.

Someone, somewhere
will hear your story and decide to fight,
to live and refuse compromise.
Someone else will tell
her own story,
risking everything.

Interesting note:  I went to look for this on the internet and discovered that it was made part of “Rise Up O Flame: A Ferguson Worship Toolkit for UUs.

Miss you, Laura, and so glad you are being recognized for your contributions to our wonderful state.

Coal company asks court to strike protest song lyrics from activists’ lawsuit

Coal company asks court to strike protest song lyrics from activists’ lawsuit.

{Image: four parallel coal trains rounding a bend in the track, the front two with coal cars full of coal.}

Image credit:

There is just so much to love about this.  That the plaintiffs’ lawyer — our friend Darold Killmer — included John Prine’s beautiful lyrics in his complaint.

Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man …
And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay?
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.

That this annoyed Peabody Energy, the defendant.  That they were so annoyed and clueless that they moved to strike the lyrics as “irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent and/or inflammatory.”   (I love “impertinent” with its overtones of the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey.)  That this motion gave Darold the opportunity to write things like this:

Defendant Peabody Energy Corp. has paid its lawyers thousands of dollars to submit a 17 page brief in support of its four page Motion to Strike song lyrics from the Complaint because . . .   it wants “to avoid the expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating spurious issues . . .”


A song can’t hurt Peabody, and recitation of a portion of the song will not cause Peabody undue difficulty or expense, except that which is self-inflicted.


Undersigned counsel is happy to report that the frequency of references to Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics in all types of legal writing is rising.

In fact, there is an entire section of the brief entitled “Non-Traditional Legal Writing is Good,” and I commend that to my vast audience of word nerds (hi, Mom!).

Obviously, the most delicious thing of all is that if Peabody had just put on its big-kid undies, ignored the lyrics, and moved on, no one would know.  Well, all of us with the privilege of hearing Darold recite his legal exploits would know, but it might not have surfaced outside the bar/bars of Denver.

Now, however, it’s in the ABA Journal.  And U.S. News & World Report.  And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  And Wyoming Public Radio.

Self-inflicted, indeed!

Leaf carnage

We had a major hailstorm — along with a tornado warning that actually had us sheltering with the dogs in the approximately 10 square feet of the house not adjacent to a window — that left some significant leaf carnage in the back yard.

Image: concrete patio and pergola covered with wet, green leaves.

Image:  picnic table and chairs covered with wet, green leaves.

Still some hail in the lawn three hours later.

Image:  mulched area half-covered with small hailstones.

Denver in the summer!

Image: photo of women's feet with purple toenails in flip flops standing on green grass covered with hailstones.

Freedom’s Engines

On May 26, I was driving from Colorado Springs back to Denver and noticed, as I neared the Air Force Academy, fighter jets flying in formation over my car.  After contemplating the pros and cons of trying to photograph them through the sunroof as I drove up I-25, I pulled into a restaurant parking lot to take photos and found that many other people had done the same.

Image: people congregate on a concrete patio area facing the mountains while two young girls draw in chalk on the concrete and a young boy strides toward them.

Turns out the Thunderbirds were practicing for an airshow. I had my camera and kit lens and managed to get a couple of OK shots. Memo to self:  if you’re going to drive around Colorado, bring the good lenses.

Image: six fighter jets flying in tight formation with contrails. Image: 6 fighter jets flying in close formation. Image: 4 fighter jets flying in formation seen from below with clouds as the background.

Image: zoomed in photo of underside of fighter jet.

It was breathtaking!  Back when I was a biglaw associate, our firm represented GE in some litigation or another, and a partner I worked with had a big poster of fighter jets on her wall, captioned “Freedom’s Engines.”  My first reaction was that that was sort of cloying — the aerospace engineering equivalent of a big-eye puppy photo — but when I thought more about it I thought, as I did last week watching these amazing pilots of these amazing machines do mind-blowing, stomach-churning maneuvers, I’m really glad these folks are on our side, protecting us.

Come join us for a drink with this lady:


Photo:  [advertising exhibition]  Black & White photo of latina woman in a sleeveless dress, sitting with her elbows on a table, holding a shot glass.  The wall in the background painted with religious art.

We’ve been trying to convince you to come to CREEC’s Inaugural Event with promises of listening to civil rights lawyers talk about civil rights.  That’s how we get our thrills.  But we thought some of you might prefer to hang out with this lady — and many other photos in the current exhibition at Museo de las Americas, the amazing venue for next week’s CREEC event.

From the Museo’s website:

Museo de las Americas in collaboration with The Mexican Cultural Center & Mexican Consulate of Denver announce the Fall exhibit, EL Brindis Remixed. The exhibit features photography from the 19th & 20th century taking a lighthearted . . . look at drinking within the Mexican Culture.

Featured artists include: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Agustín Víctor Casasola, Gabriela Iturbide, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel Figueroa, Mariana Yampolsky and several other creatives who comprised Frida & Diego’s personal inner circle.

In 2000 the exhibit was on display in Paris for the Millennium Celebration and will be featured for the final time in the United States at Museo this Fall.

We are very lucky to be able to use this beautiful space — right in the middle of Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District.  Come for the art, stay for the civil rights!   Or vice versa!

Photo of museum space with high ceilings, open rooms and painted warm colors of yellow and orange.  In the foreground, a table.

I think she’ll be there, too.

Photo: brown & white photo of well-dressed woman in make-up and a fashionable hat with a bottle in front of her holding up a shot glass.

So what does your city’s glossy, boosterish magazine rate in its best-of issue?


Best new restaurant?  Best manicure?  Best dog park?  Denver’s 5280 has all that, and:

Image: Page from 5280 magazine "Top of the Town: Shopping" listing best marijuana retailer.